Board of Directors
Representing various segments of the community with varying backgrounds, education, expertise, and experience, our servant leaders believe in FCS’ vision, mission, and values. Our leaders work on achieving this belief by identifying and developing programs that benefit the Filipinx community members and others; creating a welcoming environment at the Filipino Community Center; delivering the services to clients with utmost respect; advocating for fairness and social justice; having ethnic pride through arts and cultural programming; and ensuring strong organizational infrastructure for FCS.
Edwin C. Obras, Board President
Edwin joined the FCS Board in 2016 and has served as Board President since 2019. Prior to joining the board, he volunteered on the Filipino Community Village Advisory Committee which oversaw the development of the Filipino Community Village. His volunteerism in the community goes back to his college days when he created and conducted a needs survey for the aging Filipino population demonstrating a need for culturally competent health services and facilities. He has worked in the human services field in both community based organizations and government for the last 30 years with a focus on policy, programs and funding. He currently works for the Seattle Human Services Department.
Edwin grew up on Beacon Hill, is a proud University of Washington alumni and received a Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit, Philanthropy and Social Change from Northeastern University. He served as past Chair of the City of Seatac Human Services Advisory Committee and served on his son's school PTSA and booster clubs.
Armilito J Pangilinan, Board Vice President of Executive Operations
With more than 25 years of non-profit leadership experience, Armilito enjoys building organizations and organizational units from the ground up. He has served in leadership capacity in various organizations where he worked closely with the executive and leadership teams to develop strategies and implement programs and systems that help the organization function optimally. He currently works with local non-profits to strengthen their internal organizational infrastructure.
Armilito is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Washington State. He finished his BS in Accounting and MBA degrees from City University of Seattle. Prior to becoming a Board Member of FCS in 2019, he has been involved with the Filipino Community Village (FCV)Advisory Board where served as the chair of the FCV Mural Committee. Armilito was a former Board Member of Seattle Indian Health Board, Lavender Rights Project, International Community Health Services, and the Founding President of the ICHS Foundation.
Delia Vita, Board Treasurer
Delia has been involved with FCS since 2009 when she began volunteering as a member of the Cultural & Arts Program. Delia’s involvement grew in 2011 when she accepted the role as a Board Member and assumed the responsibility as treasurer in 2015. She does not limit her role as a Board Member as she also demonstrates her culinary skills in the kitchen during senior lunch. Her favorite quote is, “Action speaks louder than words.”
Delia is a passionate and committed community servant. She currently serves on several nonprofit Boards including Pedro Calungsod Guild-Immaculate Conception Church-Seattle; Dignity/Seattle, and Global Naguilianders Alliance Network.
Delia holds a B.S. in Finance from Central Washington University.
Aileen Balahadia, Board Secretary
Aileen is a Northwest native and a child of Philippine immigrants who lives with her family in Southeast Seattle. She has been fortunate to work in the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Seattle including the Chinatown/International District, Columbia City, White Center and the Rainier Valley. A 20+ year practitioner in community development, Aileen is now an independent consultant working on neighborhood and community projects focused on authentic community leadership, particularly from the least represented members of our community, multicultural coalition building, and community and nonprofit capacity building. She is currently the Program Consultant for Neighbor to Neighbor, the grassroots grantmaking program of the Seattle Foundation. This works includes grantmaking as well as technical assistance, networking and support to grassroots communities of color based organizations. Her other clients have included RVC, City of Seattle, Families of Color Seattle, Communities Rise and HomeSight.
She served for 8 years as the Executive Director of the White Center Community Development Association and previously worked with the Seattle Chinatown ID Preservation and Development Authority and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. She currently serves on the board of the Seattle Chinatown ID Preservation and Development Authority. Aileen has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School at the University of Washington and a BA from the University of Puget Sound.
Mimi is a retired lawyer and now enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling. Among many of her accomplishments, she founded or co-founded various local, state and national legal organizations such as Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW), Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW), National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA), and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
Francis Anthony Franco, RICP®
Francis is a Registered Investment Advisor and Wealth Advisor with Eagle Strategies, LLC, a New York Life Company and owns Franco Financial Strategies, LLC, a brokerage company that offer different financial and insurance services. He earned his designation in Retirement Income Certified Planning at The American College of Financial Services. In his early career, Francis earned his Bachelor’s Degree at De LaSalle-College of St. Benilde in Manila and Ateneo University. Francis has been serving the FCS Board of directors since July 2018 and is seen as the retirement expert to our titos and titas in the Filipino Community. Helping Filipino-American centered businesses has always been a passion of his and he is an advocate for the LGBTQ Community.
Chris brings with him nearly 20 years of tech industry experience as an engineering manager and program/product manager where he has delivered several customer and business products as a full-time employee for companies like Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia. Chris is passionate about and has experience with helping in organizing STEM/STEAM programs for education and non profit organizations, especially for underrepresented groups in the tech industry.
Chris is a Seattle-area native and UW graduate (attending Seattle and Bothell campuses) with a degree in Computer Science and minor in Math. Chris has resided in various locations around and in the city of Seattle. Chris is of Southeast Asian descent (Malaysian), and his wife Ana is Filipina and a former teacher at St Paul Catholic School in Seattle. Chris and Ana currently reside on the northeast side of Lake Washington with their 3 daughters.
Gemma Mechure had been volunteering at the community for a few years now. Gemma is honored to be part of the Board and making the volunteering official. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas and had been working as a Medical Planner in Seattle for more than 20 years. She has work experience not only in the US but also in the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Gemma’s husband, June is a Principal/Electrical Engineer in Bellevue, WA , her daughter Miko is a graduate of PhD in Psychology and works in UCLA Medical Center and her son Josef who has a degree in Sociology/Computer works in Microsoft. Gemma had co-founded a Charity Foundation with her family and currently serves as its CEO. This Foundation helps support students in the Philippines to help them achieve academic success and excellence. Aside from being an Architect, mother, wife, Foundation CEO and FCS Board member, Gemma is also a part time cake designer and baker and donates 100% of the profit from her cake ventures to charity.
Bio - Coming Soon!
Juancito “Chito” Supena
Chito is a successful entrepreneur. He is a licensed General Contractor in Washington State through his company CSB General Contractor LLC. He is also licensed-insured-bonded to work on engineering construction under CSB Telecom Services. Before immigrating to the US, he was with AT&T (Phils.) as Logistics Procurement Director in the Philippines, and as International Field Telecom Engineer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He eventually worked as Switching Wireless Engineer at Saudi Telecom, Singapore Telecom, Bangkok Telecom, Nigeria Econet Wireless, and Shenzhen China. Chito graduated with degree in Electronics and Communications Engineer from Asian Institute of Technology.
Prior to joining the FCS Board of Directors, Chito was President of Bicol Association of Washington and was a Board of Director of Filipino American Society of Architect and Engineers. He is currently the Regional Vice President – Pacific Region of Bicol National Association of America, an organization that provides medical mission, Operation Smile, support during calamities, and assistance to an orphanage (Sagrada de Familia) in the Bicol region of the Philippines. Chito is the Team Lead for Our Lady of Peñafrancia annual devotion event at Saint Edward’s Church.
Kirsten Larican Garcia
Kirsten Larican Garcia (she/her) is a Filipino Mexican American born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Growing up in a multigenerational, immigrant home, she learned to analyze the institutions and systems around her. Her experiences growing up in South Seattle drive her desire to organize with and uplift BIPOC communities.
Kirsten is proud to be a first generation college graduate from the University of Washington, with a degree in Healthcare Leadership. Her goals are to continue working at the intersection of housing, environmental justice, community health, and education. In past roles, Kirsten supported equity and social justice related capital projects and programs with King County. She also worked alongside local community organizers to coordinate a Youth Conference. Kirsten utilizes her expertise in project management and currently works as a Program Manager at Microsoft.
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